Monday, December 30, 2013

The first of many lasts

You're out in the park with Daddy today, and these are just some of the very few times I'm alone with the computer. However, it won't be long until I'll hear the both of you enter the front door, and that means I should rescue your Daddy from babysitting duties by then.

Pardon me from being sentimental, but you should know that Mommy has always been, is, and will always be. All the more that there are many things to be sentimental about nowadays. I'm so looking forward to our big move (in fact, there's only 1 box left that we haven't packed), and I really thought the excitement and positivity will far outweigh the emotional boohoo of it all. However, a few weeks before the New Year rolls around, I find that it sneaks up when I least expect it.

This your Daddy has shared on Facebook on video I can't believe it! Then again, who cares now hehehe! As you might NOT have noticed, we started sorting and packing our stuff, and we had to get rid the big toys, one of which is your Little Tikes Cupcake Kitchen that was a birthday gift from your Ninong Frich. Normally, you would get all the accessories (utensils, cupcakes, pot, plates, etc.) and litter the whole condo with it and rarely did I see you play with it the way it was meant to be played. So oftentimes your yaya and I would keep the little stuff in your toy box, but then again, you would dismantle the kitchen because it wasn't screwed together yet. You really were a "rough playa" if I will say so myself. Anyway, when we arrived at the condo that day, guess what caught your eye first? Of course it's the cupcake kitchen! You found it complete with its accessories, and I was totally surprised when, for the first time, you didn't throw them around and instead took a plate, opened the oven, got a cupcake and placed it on the plate, and you got a fork from the drawer and pretended to eat it!

It didn't take a while for you to get distracted by the other toys, so I pulled the kitchen towards the table to clean it and put back in the box. While I was disinfecting the parts, you quietly pulled the kitchen back to its original place, perhaps wondering why I placed it so close to the dining table when its rightful place was by the window. By this time, I couldn't fight back the tears and I was having a difficult time breathing. It was too ironic that it was the first time you played it and yet the last time as well. It sure wouldn't be as emotional as it would have been if you were extremely attached to it and you bawled your eyes out while I was putting it back in the box.

Your Daddy got sad too, because that's just the first of the many lasts we'll ever get to do before we leave - watching TV in our small living room with all the knick-knacks and your toys, eating our favorite Filipino food that's easily available, spending time with your Lolos and Lolas, Titos and Titas, Ninongs and Ninangs, your Ates and Kuyas; swimming at Palms and in Subic, running around in the playground and Cuenca football field, harassing Chewy, and the list goes on and on. It's a bittersweet ending to 2013, but it's also a very bright promise to what lies ahead for us in 2014.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The beach trip that never was

Hello my darling mischievous busybee! Let me tell you about a recent harrowing experience of our little family that might turn out to be one of our bedtime stories in the future. (I started writing this right after our trip last November, and only got around finishing it 2 days before New Year.)

If there's one thing I'd like for us to do before we migrate to Canada is to have one last beach hurray so you can put your pail, shovel and rake to good use. I guess I wanted it so much more than your daddy, because I even chose a quaint and exclusive location - El Nido, Palawan, even if it meant shelling out a good sum of money just because it will be at least 5 years before we can do this again. Anyway, when your lolo picked us up, he mentioned that a typhoon was brewing and was about to hit Palawan, Mindoro and some parts of the Visayas. I thought he was joking because he usually does that just to annoy. The sky was cloudy when we got to the lounge and I thought it's going to be a great day because they even served delicious muffins for breakfast. We exceeded our baggage allowance by 6 kilos because we had all your medicines (you were experiencing your second round of colds and cough), your floater, your sand paraphernalia and your daddy's laptop (which could have been a wrong move because it's Palawan for crying out loud). I guess you were pretty excited about this trip, too because you badly wanted to approach the plane nearby. You were shouting and running to and fro perhaps annoying the rest of the departing party especially when you bawled your eyes out after falling down a few steps at the fire exit.

I found it weird that as we got in the shuttle, I overheard from their two-way radios that we weren't supposed to board yet. After a few minutes of confusion, the shuttle started to move and we're finally on our way to board the plane. The plane was pretty big, a 50-seater, and we were only about 20. Finally we could all rest and hopefully when we open our eyes we'd be greeted by white sand and clear blue waters. But then again, fate had other plans. We were awakened by really strong turbulence, and I felt your Daddy's hands and feet become clammy and fearfully cold. (You should know that your dad is uber terrified with plane rides, so let's see how he'll survive the 12-hour flight to Vancouver in February.) To make a long story short, it was nothing short of a dizzying and frightening roller coaster ride (rides and I don't go together FYI) and I probably was a pitiful sight trying to nurse a crying toddler with my right arm and barfing on a paper bag I was holding with my left hand. I'm sure you were crying because the feeling was very strange and scary, and you couldn't even be comforted by nursing. Apparently, the pilot was having difficulty landing the plane at El Nido Airport because of zero visibility and he tried twice (or thrice, I'm confused) to no avail. And so, after three hours in the sky, we were back at the hangar, still heavily nauseated and terrified from the experience.

It was no question that we would rather pay a million pesos than to ride a plane in the next few months, but the staff was going around and talking to passengers about rescheduling their flight in the coming weeks. I talked to another passenger and said she'll cancel the trip altogether. However, there was one family who insisted they get on the next available flight which left like 15 minutes after we landed. O di ba, as if nothing happened. For a location that prides itself from getting the least amount of rain, they were experiencing a storm. I wonder how their vacation will go. Your Daddy didn't leave their office until he was promised a full refund for the sole reason that the experience was already too much to happen once.

Sorry that you had to go through that experience even if you will not remember it anyway. I was of course sad that you won't be able to dig in the sand, swim with and watch sea creatures from up close, aside from passing up the opportunity to visit a very nice place. I promise you will have your time on the beach, wherever it is, and by then you'd probably enjoy it more. Last week we were at Subic and Daddy said you had the greatest time "writing" on sand with a stick you found on the beach (until you brought your hands to your nose as a sign that you need a diaper change).

Next year, we'll be on the other side of the world. Even if it's just the three of us, Mommy and Daddy promise that we'll always take vacations as often as we can, to make up for the beach trip that never was.

Friday, August 16, 2013

All You Need is Love

I came across a quote on Facebook a few days ago that went something like "you learn more about yourself through your children." Now that you're about to celebrate your 14th month, we see your personality shining through your attempts at independence. You're an active little girl who expresses her wants through shrill yells and your syllables come far in between, as it seems you don't want to be manipulated in mouthing words just because we want you to.

All in all you are a very affectionate daughter who never gets out of bed without smiling at mommy or daddy. You're fond of giving hugs and receiving them, and the times that you face me and kiss me with an open mouth is a moment that often catches me by surprise and at the same time I look forward to. When a few months ago I could hardly say I enjoy being a mom because I was always tired and lacking sleep, now I finally understand why other moms gush out their emotions in this regard. When you pull yourself up to lie on my chest and give me a bear hug and stay there for a few minutes, everything feels right in the world. Definitely a happy ray of sunshine amidst the severely disappointing pork barrel news as of late.

In the times that we bring you to a public playground, we notice that you acquired a combination of mommy's and daddy's traits. You seem to be comfortable playing on your own yet your eyes light up when you see other children. Daddy says you're just like him who knows not to trespass on personal space, but you're willing to be led my other kids into something, just like mommy. While Daddy fears that you might be susceptible to being bullied, I say that people will gravitate towards you because you have a good heart and they will like to play and be with you instead of push you around. Love begets love, and if you have a lot of it to give around, a lot will come back to you as well. Don't listen to Daddy, he just likes to find things to worry about even if it's unnecessary hehehe :)

You always remind me how love should be - pure, spontaneous, life-changing and contagious. It doesn't expect anything in return nor subject to any conditions. We love you dearly, and I hope your daddy and I can inspire you to be as loving as you can be.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Butterflies in my stomach

Time is really flying a lot faster now. We are getting closer and closer to realizing your mommy and daddy's big plans for the future. As excited as we are, we are keeping our sadness at bay, as it seems we won't even see Christmas 2013 here in the Philippines. In any case, it's all for the better because we surely don't want to arrive in Canada right smack in the cold winter. I figured it's going to be all the more lonesome with our families thousand of miles away, being cooped up in the house adjusting to the harsh climate. You have nothing to worry about, for all your toys will be there waiting for you when we arrive.

I'm starting to have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about how life would be like with just the three of us in an unfamiliar place. It would be ideal for me to find a daycare to work in and for you to stay in while you wait for me. By that time you have to learn to drink milk from a cup unsupervised and put yourself to sleep. You have to learn to be independent a little bit earlier than your peers and I honestly think you can hack it :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

13 and counting

Hello beautiful! It's good that you're warming up to your new yaya even if she still looks a little lost and bored with her job. That's ok, it's only her second day and I think she can get the hang of things in a few more days or so.

One more week to go and you'll be 13 months old! I can't believe how fast time flies and just how well you're growing. I witnessed you successfully climbing a Monobloc chair all by yourself by grunting and hoisting yourself up by hanging on to the armrest and clapping your hands in the end. You sure know when you've accomplished something! It won't be long before you will be bravely pulling yourself up the monkey bars fearlessly, while mommy and daddy wince and pray you don't fall.

We recently received good news and I guess all we have are several months left before we embark on a totally new adventure as a family. Our first adventure in Hong Kong was fairly pleasant and it was truly an enjoyable experience for me even if it was tiresome and too short. Probably the next time we can all go on a beach trip again and lounge all day, without worrying about schedules.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Birthday wishes

It's your actual birthday today, and you're having the time of your life with your cupcake kitchen. We celebrated your birthday with a party yesterday and did you know more than a hundred people came to see how much and how well you've grown? God is good that we were able to fit everyone in the room and there were more than enough food to go around. You had bouts of crankiness perhaps by being overwhelmed with the number of people around you and you wanted to nurse. Nevertheless you enjoyed meeting your titos and titas, lolos and lolas as well as your new friends and playmates.

Time flew by so fast, and I won't be surprised that the next time I blink you're waving goodbye at me on your first day at school. It's difficult not to get sentimental, especially when I was looking at printed photos of you from birth while I displayed them at your party. You're now around 10 kilos heavy and you now have so many "tricks" up your sleeve. My mommy teacher friends keep saying that I should take advantage of this time when you're still clingy and affectionate because it won't be long before you'll want to do things all by yourself, and you will not need any help from me.

I choke up at the thought that you will not be a baby forever and the day will come when you would rather be with friends or your boyfriend that with mommy and daddy. I wish I could freeze time. But as I said on my previous post, life gets better with acceptance and I should accept that it will happen eventually and it's all part of being a parent and of growing up. You will eventually become your own person, and your daddy and me will just stand by the sidelines and show our love and support.

Happy birthday to our hilarious bundle of joy! You never fail to make me laugh. You're indeed your father's daughter. I wish that your allergies will never act up again and that you will grow up to be as smart and kind-hearted as mommy (haha) and as headstrong and confident as daddy. We promise to be good role models for you today and everyday for the rest of our lives.

Anyway, I'm really glad that the party is over, but prepping is not yet over for me... there's still our HK trip which I hope that you will love!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Life is sweeter with acceptance

The month of May just flew by right under my nose, honey. And with that are memories of you walking your first steps, shrieking with delight when you see familiar faces in the crowd or when we playfully chase after you, and the many antics you have learned that make us shake our heads in amazement. You are truly a very smart kid, and who knows how else you will trick Mommy, Daddy or yaya in the days to come!

I just wanted to tell you that in the last few months, things have been easy. No, there wasn't any miracle nor you were easier to care for as the days go by. In fact, it's the opposite. You wriggle out of our arms to walk towards that baby we saw in church today, making you so excited you were screaming your lungs out for the whole congregation to hear!

Anyway, I realized that life and all its little idiosyncrasies becomes sweeter with acceptance. Here are some of the many things that I have recognized to be part of my life the moment I became your mom, and most probably this list will grow longer as you get older.

1. I have accepted that I will no longer have a full 8 hours of sleep, which I once considered as a basic need. I'm extremely lucky to get 6 on installment, but the normal count now is 4 or 5.

2. I have accepted that I will get back aches and sore arms from carrying you even when I lie in bed. It goes away with massage, so you don't have to worry about me. I just have to be aware of my posture everytime.

3. I have accepted that there will be times I'll take late lunches if it means nursing you to sleep, giving you a bath or feeding you.

4. I have accepted that "me" time is only the time I spend in the bathroom, collectively. It varies from time to time, but the longest is half an hour. I'm lucky that we have yaya now to take over when I'm working.

5. I have accepted that my bed space is just big enough to fit my width and I have to make do by folding my arms under my head and it makes me so ngalay I can barely sleep. It takes practice to be able to turn and lie on my tummy without going beyond and occupying your space in the middle.

6. I have accepted that my social networking profiles and status updates will consist mostly of your face and anecdotes of your antics. Then again, my life I bet wasn't as interesting for others until you came around!

7. I have accepted that anything that your dad and I will do together will depend on your sleeping or feeding schedule and availability of grandparents/yaya to take care of you. No more spur-of-the-moment movies; everything will be scheduled.

8. I have accepted that a day of shopping will not be complete without buying you something, even if that means spending all my money on it.

9. I have accepted that I can no longer procrastinate or dilly-dally when working. I can only work when you are fed, bathed, nursed or sleeping, and that does not give me a lot of time during the day. Of course, I want to play with you too.

10. I have accepted I can no longer just go away and go shopping/get a workout/have coffee with a friend anytime I want to. Unless I take you with me, but then I have to prepare for poop time/feeding time/sleep time along the way, which I'd rather not, on my own.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ignorance is a death sentence

As much as Mommy would like to concentrate on her articles for today, she is distracted by Candy Crush. And now that her lives had run out (paging fellow Candy Crush addicts for some lives please), she is still bothered by something that is perhaps the cause of her headache today.

It breaks my heart that your Ate Gina will have to leave soon. I have grown very fond of her because she takes care of you very well, and I'm sure you've grown fond of her, too. In fact, last night you didn't wait for me to finish my work and instead allowed her to rock you to sleep. Anyway, a few days ago she told me that she might be pregnant and is asking for a week-long vacation to visit a manghihilot (faith healer or midwife) so she can get her period again. You shall learn later on that this is something that goes against what our families and education have taught us.

I would be happy for her with this news but I don't because she already has 6 children at 31, the youngest being just 14 months old. She even lied about having 3 younger children because she was afraid to lose her job. I felt bad for her baby who has gotten used to not having his mom around because of work. She often tells me that her eldest child would text her to say they have nothing to eat and she gets worried. If the rest of the brood had nothing, there's no chance for the baby to get any kind of milk. She says you weigh two kilos more than her baby. Any mom would be heartbroken just hearing about this.

She didn't really want to get pregnant and she thought she had it covered when she started taking pills AFTER her day-off. She knew she was fertile but was careless anyway. Now she tells me she cries to her husband because she doesn't want to have another baby because she pities her sickly little one and she'll do anything to resume a normal life working for us. It makes me sick that she's acting as if it's a wart that needs to be removed and everything will be the way it once was.

I told her my conscience will haunt me if I allow her to come back knowing what she is about to do. Her logic? "Wala naman yun ate, dugo pa lang naman yun kasi isang buwan pa lang. (It's nothing, it's just blood because it's just a month old)". Now who on earth planted that silly idea in her head? And this is coming from a provincial lass who reached senior high school before getting pregnant. And I bet everyone else in her village thinks the same way. Sigh. No wonder the Philippines is about to burst from overpopulation. People simply do not know anything, or assume that they know so. I bet even if she was told otherwise by a doctor or some professional, she would still believe what her folks say, all at the expense of the innocent.

There was once a TV commercial that said, "Maraming namamatay sa maling akala." Nothing could be more true. She thought all pills could prevent pregnancy, she thought her actions will not bear consequences. She thought it's that easy to rid herself of further consequences. She probably thought we need her that bad to expect her back after that "vacation". I told her she can leave after training the next yaya for a week. She said she will insist on working to feed her family anyway, whether she's pregnant or not.

Your Daddy and I really want to help her family but we can only do so much. Tough luck for her, if she stayed we would probably send some of her children to school or ensure that all of them are fed. But I guess her life is not cut out that way. She knows how I feel about her plans, and I hope she will consider what I said.

The main problem in this country is not poverty nor overpopulation, it's IGNORANCE. And it's equally sad and frustrating that politicians are riding on the ignorance of many for their benefit (Binay and Villar up there in the the polls, are you kidding me?!). Nobody even bothers to address the lack of education and information in this country. That's why the poorest of the poor in this country will remain for generations to come.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Post-birthday shout-out

Time flies so fast. In two weeks, you'll be 10 months old and it's been more than a month since my birthday. Usually I'd write about my birthday reflection, but this year, and I guess in the years to come, it will be a bit different.

Since you were born, my concept of date and time flew out the window. Weekends are as tiresome as Mondays and sadly, they don't end. I only realized that I was turning 33 when I checked the calendar for your next vaccination. Your daddy kept asking me if I wanted to do anything special on my birthday and I couldn't think of anything. Anyway, the day ended with me and your daddy cooking a big batch of our favorite clam pasta for my family. It was still tiring, but it was a happy kind of tired.

It's a far cry from what my life was 5 or more years ago when I was single with no worries but requirements for masters classes. My days were filled with meet-ups with friends from preschool, previous work, grad school, gym, grade school, college and church group. It felt like I had 50-hour days with the things I was doing, with matching energy to boot. There were days when I would go to gym after work AND THEN meet up with friends for dinner and another set of friends for a nightcap. Naturally, I'd go home late and sleep a few hours before another workday begins.

Nowadays, the energy I have is just enough for taking care of you and Daddy and working from home for a few hours. I'm still grateful for a bit of me time every now and then, but honestly, I miss my friends. I've made really good memories with a lot of them, and I hope they still haven't forgotten me. I feel guilty for somehow disappearing from the picture, and thanks to Facebook, I haven't faded out completely.

Later on, Georgia, you'll find people who will share the same interests and experiences with you, be it in school, in the neighborhood, at the playground. When you do find your own set of friends, keep them close. Show them how much you appreciate their company, their stories, jokes, and whatever they do for you. You can never have too many friends, but then again you may prefer having a few and that's alright. What's important is the memories you make with them. Always remember that life will always be better with friends around.

Allow me then to make a shout-out to my very good friends, your titos and titas, as this may be one of the very few times I can do so.

To everyone who has made wonderful memories with me in the past 32 years of my life:
You will always be a blessing to me. You made my life colorful and enriching. Thank you for your time, your efforts in keeping our friendship, the pieces of advice you've given me, your stories and jokes, and your gifts. I may not have been there for you in the last 5 years or so, but always remember you're always in my heart. I wish I could turn back time and make more memories with you. Nevertheless, marriage and motherhood happened to me and I know you understand if it will take time before I slowly get my groove back. I will try to get in touch with all of you in the next months or years, and I hope you'll be looking forward to it as much as I am. I miss you guys so much! Let Facebook be our bridge for the meantime. Cheers to all and I will see you guys soon! :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Virus aftermath

It has been a week since we noticed you were warm to the touch and the sneezes became too frequent. I could only mutter an "oh no not again" while we bought your meds and tried to make you eat. When you were 5 months old, it was a struggle to make you take your meds and nebulize you and now, at almost 9 months, it's doubly hard because you have grown incredibly strong and heavy. Everytime you tried to wriggle out of our arms, tried to stand and yank away the tube and mask, I get hurt, literally and figuratively. There's some kind of soreness in between my left hand fingers, and my right shoulder muscles tend to harden every now and then. Seeing you squirm and cry your lungs out every 8 hours breaks my heart everytime but there's nothing else to do but get the treatment over with.

The worst part happens every night. I have a difficult time falling asleep because I tend to check on your breathing every now and then. When I do succumb to sleep, you then wake up because you can't breathe and it's pretty much time to take your meds and nebulize again. What's surprising is that you never looked irritated and fussy during those times. In fact, you manage to smile and crawl your way towards the window which you love looking out of. You make all these sounds as if to tell me about the streetlights and the cars that pass by. When you eventually fall asleep, I'm too awake, and when I feel sleepy again, you'll wake up. Sigh.

We had too much of those nights that I began to feel sick too. And did I mention that everytime you get sick Daddy gets sick too? With my trusty carbocistein, I pray hard to God for strength to endure the frequent lack of sleep and that I don't get the virus full-blown because it's going to be very difficult to take care of you. Anyhoo, I'm glad to tell you that you're well and I'm still ok, with a little bit of itchy throat but it's nothing that I can't manage.

I have been thinking about the good things that happened this year that I'm thankful for and so far my list comes up short, until today. I'm grateful that my body, fats and all, can take all this motherhood stress so far.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Where comfort meets style

I used to be very meticulous with the clothes and accessories I wear. I prefer classic cuts and solid colors because you can mix and match with more pieces of clothing. With my built hovering on the "pleasantly plump" category, I choose styles that highlight the assets I think I have and hide unnecessary bulges here and there. That's why you might notice in photos from my younger days, I look thinner than I am. Yes, I can do magic that way :)

Anyhoo, it all changed when we found out I was pregnant and my old clothes started getting tighter and more uncomfortable. I had to buy stretchy bottoms and tops that look like tents. Your lolas would buy me tops and dresses perhaps to make me feel good about myself despite my growing belly (and arms and legs and face...) and God bless them for their generosity. During this time, footwear has become a problem, too.

I am fortunate I didn't have to wear heels at work, but then I was also getting uncomfortable with my flats. They felt hot and tight all the time, and I found myself looking forward to getting home because then I could change into my trusty rubber flipflops. I wished I could go to work in them, but being able to wear them everywhere else was definitely a plus for a preggy me.

8 months after you were born, my penchant for flipflops still remain. During the rare times I go out, I would try on my old flats, but nothing gives me the comfort that I need on those days when you leave me longing for a few more hours of sleep or somebody to massage my tired muscles. It was actually a pleasant surprise when I received (of all days, on my birthday) not one, but two pairs of Caribbean flipflops. Surprise was an understatement, I was overjoyed!

Comfort and style usually don't go together - just think of heels, pencil-cut skirts, make-up and the like. And so it is a great find if you come across something that combines both. These Caribbean are super comfortable, durable and they come in a wide array of colors and styles. I like it that these purple flipflops have a subtle metallic sheen to it which can highlight newly painted nails beautifully. These can be definitely worn to our next shopping trip to the mall.

I'm not always a fan of bright colors, but this big and bold paisley print looks really cute. I wore this yesterday and it felt light with each step. I can already imagine walking on the beach wearing these. Maybe I should buy you a pair for our future beach trip! I have seen their cute floral designs online and several people love them too.

I love it that Caribbean slippers are made of high quality materials which are carefully crafted and creatively designed. Best of all, it is locally made and amazingly affordable at Php 150 and Php 230 (purple and pink, respectively)! I believe they are available at all department stores. My imported flipflops were three or four times more expensive and they didn't last me long. These, I'm sure, would serve me well for a long time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Too much of a good thing

Amidst your toys, you still go for Mommy and Daddy's mobile phones on the bed. When you see us changing channels with the remote control, you stop bobbing your head to Mickey's Hotdog Dance and reach for that magical contraption that changes the Disney Junior channel to one of Daddy's preferred shows. We keep telling you it's not a toy, but you reach for them anyway because you see us using them. With your developing brain, you already know these gadgets are important to us and you are probably wondering what makes them important and maybe it can be important to you too.

Technology is a wonderful thing. With Facebook, I can share your photos and videos for the whole family to see. No more having the photos developed, no more having to wait for the photos to arrive when they are sent through mail. Mobile phones now connect to the Internet and everybody is just a click away from anybody. It's perfect for emergencies and I love it.

But then again, it's the very thing that keeps people apart too. In a restaurant, you'd see people in the same table clicking away on their phones and tablets all at the same time. They're not talking, but from their Facebook pages, the whole world knows where they "checked in", what they are eating, wearing, and who they are with, showing people they are having a good time. But in actuality, are they really having a good time, or just more concerned about "looking like" they are having a good time? Sheesh. Humans can really be pathetic at times, honey. Too bad you're part of it too.

Nowadays, people don't start eating UNTIL they take a photo of their plate. It's sooo annoying. It seems to have replaced saying grace. I hope you don't get into that habit. Because you go out to spend time with family and friends and partake of a delicious meal. The memories you create from these encounters will be forever ingrained in your head, all because it's pleasant and it's happy. Sure, photos will help you relive them in the future, but they're just an added bonus, an icing on the cake if you put it that way.

In all honesty, nobody really cares where you eat and what you eat. Your Daddy and I care about what you eat because you don't know any better. When you're older, you should care about what you eat for your health and well-being. I know some people like snooping in other people's lives, just because they have nothing better to do, or they're insecure that their lives are worse than others. Or maybe, just maybe, they're too full of themselves that they love other people snooping into their lives. That's why they have to create this impression that they are worthy of being snooped at.

There's this celebrity I read in some showbiz magazine who was talking about her toddler son who plays games on her iPad. She kept on raving about how good her son was because he learned to swipe and tap the screen. And there's this viral video of a toddler girl who was holding a magazine and she didn't know what to do with it. She was swiping the pages with her finger and is probably wondering why the screen doesn't change. I pity these children, really. And I will not be the least entertained if you learn to swipe and tap on our phones.

Developmentally speaking, these actions don't do anything for children as young as you. One educator states that fine motor skills develop when the fingers are made to move. Swiping and tapping touchscreens are actions that you can actually make with your elbow, nose, knees and forehead even. Touching an actual book, gripping and turning its pages and covers is what strengthens your chubby-wubby fingers. In time, I will let you hold crayons and pencils, and you will realize what a joy it is to draw and write, far more fulfilling than tapping with your finger. Unless you want to make a musical beat, of course.

Back to that celebrity with the iPad. A child who engages so much in gadgets can only mean that he doesn't get into much interaction and play from parents and adult caregivers. What does that tell us? That parents and caregivers (me included) realistically resort to gadgets to get you children out of our hair even for a little while. Yes I am guilty of that too, because I am no model parent who shuns technology for your sake. Technology will always be a part of our lives - its advantages we reap, its disadvantages we learn to control before it controls us.

With that said, I make a promise to you, my darling Georgia. I promise that when you are awake and need all my attention for whatever reason, I will gladly give it to you. The computer and the mobile phone will only be used when it's very important, or when you're asleep and you don't need me as much. As for the TV, I will keep your viewing to a minimum and have you get used to reading your books instead (if only you would stay in your playpen for a longer period). I apologize in advance if I find the need to update this blog or attend to my many games just because I want to. But I'll try very hard to fill your childhood with fond memories of you and Mommy and Daddy together.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Life imitating art

...or the other way around, depends on how you look at it. But I say so because the show had its pilot in 2010.

Sometime November, your Ninong Steve introduced us to this sitcom called Raising Hope. I used to see it on Jack TV but never really bothered to tune in, thinking it was one of those forgettable shows. The three of us were in his car then, so I started watching anyway.

The pilot episode starts with Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff), a school dropout, assisting his dad Burt (Garret Dillahunt, from the Sarah Connor Chronicles and Burn Notice) in his pool cleaning and lawn care business. His mom is Virginia (the ridiculously funny Martha Plimpton from the movie Goonies back in the 80s!) and they all live with Virginia's grandmother, Maw Maw (Cloris Leachman). Virginia and Burt are young parents as they had Jimmy in their teens.

Jimmy had a one night stand with Lucy who turns out to be a serial killer. The next time Jimmy sees her is in prison and she's about to give birth to his child. She gets electrocuted eventually and Jimmy decides to keep the baby (named Princess Beyonce by the mom) and convinces his crazy family to help him out with raising her. He names the baby Hope, and that's where the fun begins.

The simple story and the laughs just became too real for me, with the rest of the episode showing Jimmy struggling with Hope's incessant cries, diaper changes and the rest of that crazy aspect of parenthood. Basically reminded me of our first months together :) I didn't go as far as climbing in the crib with you, but I would have if I'd fit. In the last few minutes of the show, Jimmy was about to give up because Hope refused to stop crying that night. Virginia and Burt then burst in the room. Both still with eyes half-open, Virginia started rocking Hope to sleep by singing Danny's Song, with Burt strumming his guitar. The scene changes 25 years back, when Jimmy was still a baby, and a younger Virginia and Burt putting him to sleep with the same lullaby.

What can I say? I had to casually wipe the tear off my cheek lest your daddy (and Ninong Steve) sees it and makes fun of me again. It was the same song that he serenaded me with on our wedding night a year and a half ago (yes he learned the guitar chords for it just because) and it just tugged at my heartstrings. From then on, I was hooked.

I like how it portrays unconventional families in a tongue-in-cheek manner, depicting their struggles and idiosyncrasies hilariously. The characters are simple, well thought of and real - the sometimes-lucid grandma who mistakes Hope's toy food as real, the simple-minded, jealous yet very loving husband in Burt, and the mom who insists on having the perfect family picture everytime - they just work well together. Jimmy himself is a gentle creature who strives to make his life better for Hope. Each episode wraps up with a realization that reminds us of things we usually take for granted in our families, leaving us feeling inspired to make things better ourselves.

It's currently on its third season, and locally being shown on Jack TV and Star World. In time I'll let you watch and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, January 28, 2013

My little schoolgirl

I've always wanted to bring you to babies' class and it was a pleasant surprise when Teacher Thumby invited us to join every Friday morning. It's been almost three years since I worked at Toddlers Unlimited (website: and I miss being in it. It is a place I've always wanted to share with you, and despite the new stuff and the new faces since I left, it is the same warm and homey environment that I think you would enjoy.

When I told people you'll be going to school, I was met with questioning eyes and most, if not all, asked me, "Isn't it too early?" or "What will they teach her?" and even your daddy was wondering and wanted to see it for himself. OF COURSE the Duckies class is developmentally appropriate, a 45-minute class basically designed for babies 6-12 months to be aware of themselves and interact with other babies and adults who are not part of the family. It is also to introduce routines and good habits such sharing and packing away, as well as developing literacy and numeracy skills. I believe it's never too early.

January 11. Teacher Sharon welcomed you inside the Romp (such a happening place with the store, animal clinic, fire station and everything else) with a warm smile and a basket of toys during Free Play. You immediately grabbed the balls then eventually tinkered with the dials of the radio activity board. A few minutes after, your only classmate Natalie arrived and you reached out to her as if to say hi. Wasn't she friendly? It's a Mommy and me class, so naturally I was there to play with you and revert your focus back to the toys when you started picking on the parachute mat.

You were quite oblivious when Teacher Sharon started singing the pack away song. Don't worry honey, you'll learn that soon! At Circle Time, you sang and moved to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Roly Poly. You were introduced to Natalie and were given the big mirror for you to look at yourself. Teacher Sharon let you play a bit with the colored felt trains. Afterwards, she let you try out the teeter-totter but you'd rather chase the ball nearby. I was delighted that you did not hesitate to look through the tunnel and reach for the ball inside. I was at the other end waiting for you to crawl across but maybe next time you'll be able to. It was quite a long one anyway.

You and Natalie were called back for Story Time and Teacher Sharon read Hey Diddle Diddle while you couldn't get your hands off Jack and Jill. Alas, it was time to say goodbye but it looked like you weren't ready to leave yet. It was basically tiring looking and chasing after you, but it was quite an experience don't you think? As of this writing you have yet to attend your second session and I hope you're looking forward to it like I am :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A confession

A handful of mommy friends have asked me how I am and within that conversation would say, "Ansarap talaga magka-baby noh?" To which I would reply with a weak smile. Actually, I would really like to say, "Are you out of your mind?! What on earth are you talking about?!"

My darling Georgia, Mommy and Daddy love you to the moon and back; and you have brought us immense joy as the days go by. But this is by far the most difficult ordeal I've ever had to contend with. I quit my job for you and yet the hours could not possibly accommodate all your needs and mine at least consistently. While the babies your age I see on Facebook have probably settled in a nighttime routine, I have yet to get a decent sleep. It's bad that you get colicky in the wee hours and I have to carry and soothe you, it's worse when sleep eludes me for as much as three hours a night WHILE you're sound asleep. Sigh. Insomnia and probably a bit of postpartum depression DOES NOT make for a happy camper.

Lily in the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother confesses to Ted, being so tired from mommy duties: "I want to pack my bags and go away for good." That pretty much encapsulates how I feel nowadays. I decided to become a full-time mom so I can make the most out of your formative years and while I don't regret making that decision, I realized it doesn't make me the perfect parent. I am human, making mistakes here and there, figuring out my way through mommyhood via trial and error in some cases. I have no special powers to go through each day feeling perky and refreshed all the time. I am doing my absolute best, though. Your Daddy have told me several times that is enough, but only until your Tita Pinky told me again did I become completely convinced. I guess it's because she's a fellow mom who has gone through the same challenges and was able to deal with them.

I am not sharing this to make you feel you're a burden. You are not and never will be. You are life-changing, character-forming, a blessing and a lifelong cause for learning for your Daddy and me. I am only sharing what's true and real. And more than anything, it's what your Daddy wants me to learn, and what we wish that you will be - truthful to yourself and what you feel always. As a family, we will take that journey together, for better or for worse.